May zeal for thy glory consume me, O Mary!
Children of Mary, it suffices not that your hearts expand with devotion to your Mother; that remembrance of her absorbs all the faculties of your soul; that you adhere to her by bonds of tenderest love: you must, more over, enkindle this delightful fire in all hearts. In Mary you have found the treasure of eternal life; hoard it not up for yourself alone. Let your zeal for your Mother's honour be inflamed therefore; arise together, and proclaim everywhere that she is holy, all powerful, blessed; inspire all hearts with the same love that burns in your own. Yours will not be a difficult task, for so sweet, so natural, so legitimate is this devotion, that even he who seems to have forgotten his God, would not venture to admit he had forgotten Mary, his Mother. There are few hearts so opposed to their own interests as to cast aside this last means of salvation; few, at least, who refuse at the solicitation of a parent, or zealous friend, to devote themselves to Mary by some daily prayers, the wearing of a medal of the Holy Virgin. And this once obtained, we all know how Mary finds the secret of entering hearts the most indifferent, the most rebellious, and making herself the Mistress of them. These appear very feeble expedients for bringing about so great a result; but it is precisely because they seem so remote from the end, that they are less suspected. It is because they are so weak that God is pleased to triumph by them over rebellious wills, that man may learn that all his prudence and cunning are as nought in the conversion of souls. Children of Mary, humble disciples of the humblest of Virgins, bless her then, for that she has chosen you to initiate you into these secrets, which God conceals from the wise and prudent. Assume your arms, the medal of Mary, prayer to Mary; it is by these signs you will conquer; it is by these signs you will make Mary known, by which she will obtain access to hearts.
Tell the just to increase, let him become on fire with this love, which, if not daily fed and increased, slackens and becomes finally extinguished. Stir up the tepid, by repeating to them, that he who is faithless, negligent in minor practices in honour of Mary, ends by forsaking her service and becoming lost. But if you desire to make prompt and durable conquests, begin your apostolate by childhood; make Mary known to those innocent hearts so suited to comprehend and love her.
Long tried experience proves that impressions received in youth grow with the soul, and outlive all the storms of passion. You may afterwards try your strength in better contested victories; betake yourself to the lost sheep of the house of Israel, make Mary known to those who are tired out in the way of iniquity, who seek in vain for satisfaction in enjoyments that have so often deceived them already: in this way of salvation, the delights of which they were far from suspecting, they shall acquire new heart and soul.
Children of Mary, happy are you to have been chosen to announce the name, thi glory, the power of your Mother! You know the reward for your zeal. Oftentimes, to stimulate you, has she whispered to your heart - "Courage, good and faithful servant, I am with you in the toils, the tribulations you endure for my name; and a day will come when eternal glory, a seat nearer your Mother's throne, will be the reward of those praises rendered by yourself and those you shall have procured her, by teaching others to know and love her."
Neglect nothing to induce all over whom you have influence to cherish a tender and solid devotion to Mary. The distribution of books which treat of her, the upholding the practices of piety authorized by the Church in her honour; such are the means which Mary's love suggests for propagating devotion to her. Be faithful in employing them, but be not less assiduous in exciting yourself to this love, lest, after having taught it to others, you should remain stationary yourself in this way of salvation, in which not to advance is to recede.
May the name of Mary be known, praised, blessed, and glorified for ever.
Blessed Alphonsus Rodriguez made it his duty to speak of spiritual matters to all with whom he held intercourse, recommending especially the recital of the Rosary, and enlarging on the inestimable advantage derived from the frequent use of the Sacraments of Penance and the Holy Eucharist. Devotion to Mary was the theme on which he usually conversed with seculars, and he skillfully turned this noble subject to account, to induce sinners to apply confidently to her who is their refuge, at the same time that he made them sensible that external practices avail not to Mary's honour, if her maternal Heart is rent by outrages against her Divine Son. The children who frequented the College were not less sharers in the charity of this good Brother. He taught them the Christian doctrine, inspired them with a tender affection for the Queen of Virgins, and suggested to them little practices of piety, proportioned to their years and necessities.
In fine, he applied himself with equal zeal in behalf of the poor who came to seek relief at the College gates, mingling with his instructions apposite reflections and most pathetic exhortations.
Another skillful means made use of by this servant, to contribute as far as lay in his power to the salvation of his neighbour, was fervently to intreat God for the success of preachers and other evangelical labourers. He earnestly besought His Divine Majesty to confer on His ministers those virtues that constitute Apostles, and to render them powerful in word and work. Nor did Alphon- sus neglect, when a fitting opportunity occurred, to insinuate to the Religious of the house who were engaged in the holy ministry, that the most effectual means for sanctifying others was to labour at their own perfection.
Visit to the Blessed Sacrament
Out of the depths have I cried to Thee, O Lord. - Psalm 129:1
My Lord Jesus, it is to You I come to seek the remedy for all my pains. What unhappiness is mine. You alone know it; You alone can feel that all-powerful compassion that consoles and heals. O my God, hear my sighs from the profound abyss in which I am plunged. When I desire to go to You, why can I not even govern my thoughts? My imagination wanders through unknown ways, from which it is difficult to recall it; this corruptible body, which You have given as a prison to my soul, weighs it down, and is an obstacle to finding You. The senses and their attractions carry away the most part of existence. Health, sickness, preoccupation of work, business, all stops my way towards You, and life is so short. O my God, when shall I be able to find You as Your Saints have done in the midst of all the embarrassments of life? Since You come to me in this life in the Blessed Sacrament, allow me to go to You; permit me at least to pay You attention for attention, since I cannot give You love for love. During Your mortal life, nothing could interrupt Your union with Your Divine Father - labours, sorrows, tortures, joy, sadness, nothing separated you from Him. You wish me to imitate You; it is You Who gave the precept - "If any one will come after Me, ... let him . . . follow Me." My God, do with me what You command. Let me be incessantly united to You, as You were to Your Father during Your mortal life, as You are still united to Him in this Sacrament. O Divine Body, most pure Body, most holy Body, that followed most faithfully all the impulses of the most beautiful and generous Soul that ever existed, I adore and invoke You; quicken, purify, sanctify my body and soul.
O Mary, I give myself up to you, in order that you may obtain from Jesus that He would vouchsafe to reform my body and soul after the model of yours while on earth, yet awaiting the day when He will reform them after the model of His glorified Body.
- taken from The Month of May Consecrated to the Glory of the Mother of God, The Queen of Heaven